Evaluation Approach: Practice-Focused Middle School Science Modules
Keywords:K-12, STEM, Evaluation
Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Integrated to Unlock Potential (AMP-IT-UP) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded K-12 Math & Science Partnership (MSP) project with a goal of promoting math, science, and engineering learning through STEM integration-focused curricula. As part of this project, curriculum writers developed one-week modules providing instruction on a set of STEM practices within the context of the appropriate grade-level content. These STEM practices are Experimental Design, Data Visualization, and Data-Driven Decision Making; the emphasis of each of these practices is, respectively, the collection of data, the representation of data, and the use of data to support complex decision-making. Nine of these one-week modules were created in the science domain, one focused on each practice at grade levels 6, 7, and 8. A parallel set of nine modules in the math domain were also created. In this paper, we will focus on our assessment of the implementation of these modules across four middle schools. We will present our methodology for assessing this complex instructional effort. Data sources included online implementation surveys, teachers’ on-line posts, as well as classroom observations. Findings were triangulated across these multiple data sources to provide detailed insights into curriculum functioning and teacher experiences. We will also provide some results from pre-post assessments of student learning, which were written for a subset of the science modules. Overall, the results indicate positive teacher experiences as well as significant increases in student learning in some modules. Findings from these data sources were used by curriculum developers to inform later iterations of the modules.